Weekend picks: Dec. 1

I got another game up on Nicole last weekend, thanks to Dartmouth. We both did pretty well though. I went 14-6-5, while Nicole went 13-7-5. On the year, I have a big lead, as I am 171-61-29, while Nicole is 151-81-29. We’ve got three 1 vs. 2 conference series this weekend, so let’s get to it.

Thursday, Dec. 1, and Saturday, Dec. 3

St. Lawrence vs. Clarkson (home-and-home)
Candace: Hard to see this as anything but a split on home ice. Clarkson 3-2, St. Lawrence 3-2
Nicole: I suppose the smart thing to do is hedge my bets and call for a split, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say Clarkson is going to hand St. Lawrence their first losses of the season. I’m giving the edge to the Golden Knights’ experience. Clarkson 4-2, 3-1

Friday, Dec. 2

Dartmouth at Colgate
Candace: Colgate needs the win here to keep pace with Clarkson and St. Lawrence and should get it at home. Colgate 3-1
Nicole: If Colgate wants to keep pace, they need to win the games they should win. This is one of them. Colgate 4-1

Harvard at Cornell
Candace: The Crimson have looked decent in some of their losses, but I like the Big Red in this one. Cornell 3-2
Nicole: Cornell showed some versatility at Wisconsin as well as top goaltending. Harvard has had one of the toughest schedules in the country and I don’t think this is where they find their footing. Cornell 3-1

Princeton at Rensselaer
Candace: The Tigers have been up and down, but I figure this is an up weekend. Princeton 4-2
Nicole: Despite some stumbles, Princeton has more tools. Princeton 4-1

Quinnipiac at Union
Candace: The Bobcats need a jolt of confidence, and they’ll get it here. Quinnipiac 3-1
Nicole: Should be an easy win for the Bobcats. Quinnipiac 5-1

Friday-Saturday, Dec. 2-3

Mercyhurst at Lindenwood
Candace: The Lions showed me something last week in Mankato, but I expect the Lakers to win two close ones. Mercyhurst 3-2, 2-1
Nicole: The Lakers have fallen off this season and Lindenwood is coming off some wins that give them momentum. I’ll say it’s a split. Mercyhurst 3-1, Lindenwood 2-0

RIT at Syracuse
Candace: I didn’t expect the Tigers to beat Rensselaer last weekend, but I think Syracuse will be a tougher out. Syracuse 3-2, 2-1
Nicole: Syracuse got a bit win in North Dakota last weekend and should ride that confidence boost to a sweep. Syracuse 4-2, 3-1

New Hampshire vs. Merrimack (home-and-home)
Candace: A tough one to call. Merrimack played well last weekend, but the Warriors have been inconsistent. I’ll go with home ice. Merrimack 3-2, New Hampshire 3-2
Nicole: Merrimack has shown some flashes of brilliance. Picking each team to win at home. Merrimack 2-1, New Hampshire 3-2

Boston University vs. Connecticut (home-and-home)
Candace: The Terriers have also been inconsistent, but I like them to sweep this one. Boston University 3-2, 3-1
Nicole: Hockey East has been full of surprises from bottom-half schools, but I would think BU should be able to sweep this home-and-home series. Boston University 3-1, 5-2

Bemidji State at Minnesota State
Candace: The Mavericks have been more consistently inconsistent, so I’ll go with the visitors. Bemidji State 2-1, 3-1
Nicole: The Beavers should be able to get out with a sweep. Bemidji State 3-1, 4-1

North Dakota at Ohio State
Candace: Another series where North Dakota might fall into a trap. Ohio State 2-1, North Dakota 3-2
Nicole: Two teams with surprise wins and losses. I think Kassie Sauve steals one for Ohio State. Ohio State 3-2, North Dakota 5-2

Minnesota-Duluth at St. Cloud
Candace: Look for the Bulldogs to keep rolling. Minnesota-Duluth 3-1, 3-1
Nicole: There have been big strides taken in St. Cloud recently, but I think the Bulldogs’ top line will rule this series. Minnesota-Duluth 4-2, 4-1

Saturday, Dec. 3

Harvard at Colgate
Candace: This is a tough out for the Raiders, but I think they pull it out. Colgate 3-2
Nicole: It was a big fall from no losses to a two-loss weekend for Colgate. I think they respond with a win here. Colgate 3-1

Dartmouth at Cornell
Candace: It won’t be easy, but I think the home team will prevail. Cornell 3-2
Nicole: I’m tempted to pick Dartmouth here, but will give the nod to the better record at Cornell. Cornell 2-0

Quinnipiac at Rensselaer
Candace: The Bobcats get a big road sweep. Quinnipiac 3-1
Nicole: The Bobcats keep pace with the top of the conference with a win. Quinnipiac 3-1

Princeton at Union
Candace: The Tigers will keep pace in the ECAC here. Princeton 4-1
Nicole: Union has improved, but I think the Tigers will be too much for them to handle. Princeton 4-1

Providence at Boston College
Candace: The Friars have shown some fight, but I think the Eagles have too many weapons. Boston College 4-2
Nicole: There have been so many surprises out east this season that I’m tempted to pick upsets, but I still think BC’s offense will be too much for the Friars. Boston College 4-2

Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 3-4

Robert Morris at Penn State
Candace: I think the Colonials are the favorite in the CHA right now, and will take more control of the race here. Robert Morris 3-2, 3-1
Nicole: The top two teams in the CHA are jockeying for position, but Robert Morris has been more consistent. Penn State has the power to surprise, so I’ll pick a split. Penn State 3-2, Robert Morris 3-1

Vermont at Northeastern
Candace: Vermont has been up and down, but the Huskies are strong enough to withstand the up and win easy on the down. Northeastern 4-2, 3-2
Nicole: Vermont surprised a few teams earlier this season and I can’t imagine Northeastern isn’t fully prepared for the Catamounts this time around. The Huskies need every point they can grab. Northeastern 3-2, 4-1

Minnesota at Wisconsin
Candace: Minnesota might be without Sarah Potomak, and Wisconsin might still be without Ann-Renée Desbiens. A hard choice. A split is more likely, and I’m sure Wisconsin has had this series circled since last March, but what the heck. Minnesota 3-2, 3-2
Nicole: There’s a justification to pick this series every possible way, but the one that makes most sense to me is a split. That’s further complicated by not knowing whether Sarah Potomak and Ann-Renée Desbiens are playing. Regardless, I’ll go with Wisconsin on Saturday and Minnesota on Sunday. Wisconsin 3-2, Minnesota 4-3.

Wednesday, Dec. 7

Boston College at Dartmouth
Candace: Dartmouth has shown more than expected, but I don’t see the Big Green defeating the Eagles. Boston College 4-2
Nicole: As long as BC isn’t looking past this game, they should take this one. Boston College 3-1


    • I think this sentence, before the picks answers that: “That said, even if I pick a sweep, I’ll also pick a game three result as I expect to be incorrect multiple times this week.”

      Seems pretty simple, if ND wins game 1 or 2, even though he’s not predicting that, he already has a game 3 pick, just in case.

  1. UVM played UML very tough in the final regular season weekend, albeit at home. And while Lowell may win the series, I see Hoffman stealing a game like he almost did Friday and did on Saturday just two weekends ago.

    • I agree and happy Hoffman is getting his shot again. It looked like he was going to be the back up for the remainder of the season there for a while.

    • I don’t know that UVM stole the second game as much as UML wasn’t playing for anything after locking up the 2 seed the night before. I like UML, but I think this series is going 3.

      • My only point was that Brody played really well in that second game, especially in the 3rd period to hold on to the lead. He has played great since retaking the starting role against Merrimack.

        I agree, I see it going 3.

        • UVM v UML is definitely the best series this weekend. If it only goes two, it’ll be two very hard fought and probably overtime involved. I think the time off helps Lowell who was REALLY banged up the second half. One weekend they only dressed 5 d, with one of them being Thompson (a forward).

    • I agree, I think UVM could steal at least one. Esp. considering they’re at least as good if not slightly better on the road in conference play compared to at home. Hoffman’s recent play combined with their defense certainly gives them as good an opportunity as they could possibly have. Just need guys like McCarthy and Puskarich to step up and come through with some timely goals like they got last week from Brickley and Paliotta.

  2. With the exception of Roy and in goal, I think UNH is probably better than Northeastern overall on paper, but a wildly inconsistent team, and they tend to play to the level of their competition (case and point, final week against Merrimack).

    • I disagree with you!! Plus if NU gets their Captain back this weekend, things will be different than when they played BU 2 weeks ago!! NU is a different team since they played UNH early and Witt didn’t play in that 2nd game!!!

      • Are all the exclamation points a sign of frustration, hope that things will be different than against BU or just plain nervousness? Come on, Husky and Wildcat fans ( yes I am a UNH fan) should be used to this, good/great starts, high hopes and fade when it counts. Though this year, UNH has faded every other weekend. I think they are pretty even on paper, to be honest. I think it’s always funny that DeSmith gets overlooked when it comes to the goaltending but puts up good (not great) numbers on a team that ‘forgets’ to play defense in front of him. Since the UMass win on 2/7, Witt has been very beatable, posting an .888 save percentage and giving up 21 goals in 6 games. Not going to figure out the exact minutes played but that’s about 3.5 goals per game. Maybe he gets hot and throws up a couple shutouts this weekend, but hasn’t been happening down the stretch. Bottom line, one team will get it done and keep NCAA hopes alive and one won’t.

    • NU has one of the top freshman class in D-1. Keys to this series: NU takes very few penalties (6 minutes or fewer) and who is better between Witt and DeSmith. I think van Riemsdyck is out with an ankle injury this weekend which hurts UNH.

      • Its funny you say that, because according to the hockey east website, NU is actually the most penalized team in the league, while UNH is the least penalized team in the league. I was at the game last night, and there were tons of penalties. I would rather have Witt than DeSmith (as i said above, with the exception of Roy and the goalies…aka Witt), but that doesn’t mean DeSmith is bad. He can definitely keep them in games if need be. TvR is out, but the defense was pretty lock down last night. As usual, the question will be can UNH score against a better than average goalie.

        • They showed they can score… but the D returned to the usual D… last night was something that happens a couple times a year, as far as defense goes for UNH. Oh well, tomorrow will be fun…

  3. Almost seems paradoxical to say, but I think Notre Dame beating BC so recently HELPS BC and hurts The Irish. There will be no ‘sneaking up’ on them this time. I actually see a three-game series here, though, with BC winning tonight and Sunday while stumbling Saturday.

    • ND has more to lose… HEA championship aside, BC is playing for a #1 seed, while ND playing for a bid. A series win is optimum, but avoiding a sweep is necessary for ND.

    • Well, not tonight. Gaining the #1 seed too early AND the two-week layout didn’t do BC much good… 7-1 ND mid-way through 3rd, and counting…

  4. Can someone tell me why NU’s 5th goal in regulation last night was disallowed? I saw the replay three times and the goal looked fine. These games are so important to both schools.

    • I believe well before the puck went in, maybe 5 seconds or so, when the puck popped up in the air, it was hit with a high stick. I sit right on that goal line and am up much higher, so obviously, I couldn’t tell how high it was but I knew it was close. At the arena, it was announced as the puck was played with a high stick.


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